tv The Mueller Report Special Coverage CNN April 19, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT
seems to have read or heard quite enough, a day after seeming to celebrate not being charged with any crimes, this morning, the president is blasting what he calls the crazy mueller report. parts of which he says are, and i'm quoting the president of the united states right now, when she says in that statement that the mueller report is, quote, total bullshit. let's go to cnn's manu rougea on the subpoena fight that may become a major court battle here in washington. the president using very strong words, but tell us about the late developments on the court battle that is about to begin. >> jerry nadler, the house ju e judiciary chairman issuing a subpoena for the full and underlying evidence and giving the justice until may 1st to turn it over to capitol hill. this comes after the justice department suggested they would be open to providing the committee leaders along with a select group of members of congress a look at a classified
setting at a report that had fewer redactions but still would be redacted. that version would be the grand jury information that jerry nadler is demanding. clearly, that not satisfying democrats. nadler saying this in a statement. i am open to working with the department to reach a reasonable accommodation for access to these materials. however, i cannot accept any proposal which leaves most of congress in the dark as they grapple with their duties of legislation. oversight, and constitutional accountability. my committee needs and is entitled to the full version of the report and the underlying evidence, consistent with past practice. now, the democrats are preparing for this to end up in court. they're not expecting the justice department to comply. they have already suggested they would be willing to go to court to get a court order to release the grand jury information. wolf and jake, this fight is going on multiple fronts. the judiciary committee plans
not only to demand this information but pursue its own investigation into obstruction of justice. they have five subpoenas that are authorized to former white house officials, including don mcgahn, who is featured rather prominently in the mueller report. expect those subpoenas for those former officials to go out soon, in addition to other committees planning to do their own investigations including house committee intelligence chairman adam schiff who wants to look into the financial aspect of the president, which wasn't delved into, at least in the redacted version of the report. democrats pushing ahead as republicans are pushing back. doug collins a top republican, just put out a statement calling the subpoena wildly overbroad. wolf and jake. >> manu raju, thanks so much. i want to bring in pamela brown. yesterday, president trump seemed to declare victory. he said no collusion. they put up a tweet with a game of thrones motif, saying game over. but the president's mood seems to have changed with the weather. >> it certainly does. it seems to be sinking in, a lot
of the unseemly things about the president's behavior in this report. yes, there are parts of this report that are in trump's favor and the trump campaign's favor, but there are also parts of this report that are unflattering for trump, and make it look like he is obsessed with self-preservation, particularly in the obstruction probe where there are several examples laid out where trump is asking officials or outside adviser to do things that ultimately they did not do because they were concerned about it, concerned it would cross a line. and in tweets this morning, president trump said that some of these people are essentially making it up. told robert mueller's team that things that were false. remember, these witnesses who are named in the report, including former white house counsel don mcgahn, reince priebus, rick dearborn, white house officials, they were speaking to the fbi under penalty of lying, which they could be charged for. which people in the robert
mueller probe were charged for, lying. and so you have to remember that. and robert mueller's team, through this report, went into painstaking detail, analysis, corroboration of what witnesses told them. for example, in the episode about donald trump telling his white house counsel to call rod rosenstein and remove robert mueller because of conflicts of interest, the president then later told don mcgahn that he actually just meant to call doj and tell them that there was a conflict of interest and convey this information. but then, robert mueller's team analyzed that, and how that wouldn't make sense for the president to call his white house counsel on a saturday just to convey something to doj. and so, on all accounts, robert mueller's team tried to corroborate this information, but the president is clearly trying to undercut it, saying that they were making it up and that this was a hoax. it seems to be getting under his skin today.
>> pamela brown, thanks very much. we're going to get back to you. we have our team of experts here, and gloria, let me get your reaction first of all to this very angry statement from the president. he tweeted it this morning, calling the mueller report crazy. and then he says some of it is, in his words, this is the president of the united states, some of it is total bullshit. >> i think the president is trying to have it both ways. on the one hand, he lauded the report as total vindication for him. you know, he says no collusion. no obstrucion. way back, which is i think a week or two ago, he said that mueller was an honorable man. today, he is saying there are parts of it that are untrue, total bs, as you point out. and accuses people of effectively lying. not only lying, but he's really talking here about his former white house counsel, who i might add, is a lawyer and was testifying under oath, which
donald trump did not do with the special counsel. so again, when he likes it, the mueller report is great. when he doesn't like it, it's bs. i mean, he's got to pick a side here. because you know, if mueller did his job, and did his job well, then you can't see it both ways. >> susan, let me ask you about the subpoena that jerry nadler, the chairman of the house judiciary committee has put forward today. what might democrats hope to learn from the redacted portions? personally, i was surprised at how little was redacted. it was roughly 8% of the report was redacted. obviously, as a journalist, i'm in favor of no redactions, but i was expecting much more. what is in that 8% that you think democrats might find? >> certainly, this was a report with fewer redactions than people might have suspected and that bill barr did in some ways lean forward. that said, there are substantial portions that are redacted, especially for this category of harm to an ongoing matter. one of the most interesting
things that is behind those redactions, which congress actually will be allowed the opportunity to see in some form eventually, is conversations about president trump's personal knowledge. so we have scenes that pick up particularly discussions about knowledge of hacked materials, knowledge of future releases. we start with in the president's office, there's a big redacted block, and then it moves on, or he and rick gates are in the car. there's a redacted conversation, and then the president says, okay, great. so those are the types of sort of small, perhaps legally insignificant pieces in terms of criminal culpability, but really incredibly important whenever we think about what did the president personally know about the russian efforts during the 2016 election, and in circumstances in which not only did they fail to warn the american public, but actively encouraged those efforts. >> just to put a button on this, you're referring to president trump knowing of wikileaks' dumps, allegedly, and mueller was very clear that in order for anybody to have been criminally
charged, they not only would have had to have known about it and had a hand in the hacking of the material. >> exactly, the piece that mueller found to be lacking was the explicit agreement. he essentially says that both the trump campaign and the russians were working towards a common purpose. they both took steps towards that purpose. they just didn't have that meeting of the minds that's required by the criminal statute. >> in the mueller report, mueller makes it clear he was investigating 10 or 11 specific episodes of what he described as potential obstruction of justice, including this one, and i'll read from the report. on june 17th, 2017, the president called don mcgahn, his white house counsel, at home and directed him to call the acting attorney general and say that the special counsel had conflicts of interest and must be removed. mcgahn did not carry out the direction, however, deciding he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential saturday night massacre. now, a lot of people, david, are suggesting mcgahn did the president a huge favor by refusing to carry out that order. >> right, strictly legally
speaking, even if the president endeav endeavored, and that's the legal word, to obstruct justice or someone defined it that way, that would still be something that could be looked at as obstruction of justice. mcgahn did probably do him at least a political favor in the sense that number one, obstruction of justice in the sense of firing the specialtuate public looks at this, people can, if they want, come to the conclusion, well, even if the president said he wanted the special counsel fired or endeavored to do it, it wasn't done. the report was completed. and therefore, you know, nothing to see here. maybe it's not all the way to obstruction. the fact that there are 10 or 11 instances that are laid out in the report, i think, is the special counsel laying out bread crumbs for congress so that if they want to take this up in let's say a potential impeachment hearing, they have the material to do it. >> gloria, take a listen to president trump in january 2018, when asked about this episode,
which was reported by "the new york times" at the time that the president told don mcgahn, then his white house counsel, to fire special counsel robert mueller. here's what the president said about it at the time. >> did you seek to fire robert mueller? >> fake news, folks. fake news. >> what's your message? >> typical "new york times" fake stories. >> not fake. true. the person dispensing with the person offering fake news, president trump. >> yeah, exactly. i mean, you know, the president threw a lot of these stories, not just this one, started calling them fake news. and here they are detailed, chapter and verse, in the mueller report. and again, i want to emphasis, these are people who were testifying under oath, not talking to journalists. where you don't have to take an oath. but testifying under oath, and even today, in the president's tweet, he's saying the same thing. he's saying it's total bs. these people, don mcgahn in
particular, are lying. but when you look at the level of detail in the mueller report, where the president calls in don mcgahn and said i never said that to you, and don mcgahn says, yes, you did. you told me to call so-and-so and get this done. and the president even denies it to don mcgahn face-to-face, and then makes fun of the fact that mcgahn was a contemporaneous note taker as an attorney and the president said none of my attorneys ever used to do that. we know his favorite attorney in the world is roy kohn, who was disbarred in the '80s. >> just to put -- not to put too fine of a point on it, but when you say don mcgahn was speaking underoath, he was speaking under oath to somebody who sent other people to jail for lying under oath. >> absolutely. >> so you have to tell the truth with robert mueller because he will send you to prison. >> and also, don't forget, he was the white house counsel. this is a man of some repute who
got a huge legal job inside the white house, and who continually, according to this report, saved the president or tried to save the president time and time again. and as a reward for his efforts, he got continually yelled at by the president of the united states and criticized to his face. >> you lie to the mueller team, you have basically committed perjury, and you could potentially wind up in jail, and there are several of the president's associates -- >> 30 hours, by the way. 30 hours of testimony. >> thanks, everyone. >> white house press secretary sarah sanders is digging in after she admitted to federal investigators she lied to the american people regarding the firing of former fbi director james comey. hear what she's saying now following the release of the mueller report. stay with us. nna double. but dad, you've got allstate. with accident forgiveness they guarantee your rates won't go up just because of an accident. smart kid. indeed. are you in good hands?
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one of enduring phrases from the mueller report would be an admission frame sarah sanders that a claim she made dispara disparaging the newly fired fbi chief james comey was not founded on anything. listen to what sarah sanders said at a briefing in may of 2017. >> what's your response to these rank and file fbi agents who disagree with your contention that they lost faith in director comey? >> we heard from countless members of the fbi that say very different things. >> special counsel writes that sarah sanders admitted to his investigators that she had no basis for making that remark, which she tried to frame as a slip of the tongue made in the heat of the moment. >> this morning, that is still sarah sanders' position. here's sanders on "good morning america." >> special counsel writes that those comments were not founded
on anything. that's when you talked to the special counsel about when you were facing criminal penalties if you didn't tell the truth. now you're trying to walk away from it. why can't you acknowledge what you said then was not true? >> i said that the word i used countless and i also said if you look at what's in quotations from me, it's that and that it was in the heat of the moment, meaning it wasn't a scripted talking point. >> we're joined by cnn white house correspondent kaitlan collins and here in the studio, julie pace, washington bureau chief for the associated press. julie, let me start with you. some of your colleagues think sarah sanders has lost the confidence of the white house press corps with this definitive assertion by special counsel robert mueller that she lied to the american public, a lie for which she's expressing zero contrition and no apology whatsoever. do you agree? has she lost the confidence of the white house press corps? >> i think the white house press office as a whole has lost the confidence of the white house press corps far before
yesterday. we have been dealing with a situation where you have people who come out and speak on behalf of the president, on behalf of this administration, who say things that are factually inaccurate. we have been dealing with that literally since the first day of the administration. i think it's really important to point out that the problem here isn't that sarah sanders or other people who speak for this administration are lying to journalists. it's that they're lying to the american people. that's the real problem here. i would hope that no matter what your political persuasion is, the fact that an administration is lying to the public would really bother you. >> that clip we just played from 2017, that's not the only time that sarah sanders made that bogus claim, is it? >> no, wolf. she said it several times. even when reporters gave her the chance to follow up on it because they didn't think what she said was accurate, even one reporter saying really, to her during a press briefing when she said a large number of fbi agents had reached out to per personally, she said even though she didn't know that many people at the fbi, that was her indication that that many people had lost confidence in james
comey. so wolf, she said it multiple times under different iterances. said it a lot throughout several press briefings. saying it's a slip of the tongue doesn't compute since she made that argument so many times. and wolf, it's also not the only instance in the mueller report of her making a statement that was not true. she also said that the president certainly did not dictate that original misleading statement about the meeting that donald trump jr. had at trump tower, when later it was revealed his lawyers told the special counsel that, yes, the president had dictated that statement. when sarah was asked to clear that up today, she essentially made the argument that she was given bad information. and wolf, i do think that's important, because a lot of what you're seeing in this report starts at the top. and this report does have a pretty damning portrayal of a president who not only pressured his staff to lie but also to minimize true events, deny stories that had been reported in the media, and at times simply make things up. >> and let me ask you, i mean, does the white house not see
that all these lies actually to the american people, forget lies told to journalists, lies to the american people, that it's self-defeating. they tell lies about things important and inconsequential, big and small, and ultimately, all it does is hurt them, their credibility. especially when they then want to talk about issues that are of real significance that have to do with policy and things that affect the american people's lives. do they not understand that? >> well, a lot of people in the west wing have a problem with the communications team, and they have had one ever since essentially the beginning when it was back when sean spicer was the press secretary. so they realize that it's a problem because often it's the communications team here at the bhous that becomes the story because of what they say. i think it's important to keep in mind, this isn't just the white house press shop and the reporters that cover the white house here going back and forth over whether or not sarah sanders is telling the truth. she's a taxpayer funded press secretary, and what she says goes on the record, and she's
supposed to say truthful things so the american people know what's going on inside the white house. yes, she may put a positive spin on it for the white house, to their perspective, but it's still supposed to be based in some sense of reality. we're seeing with these remarks, especially the ones about james comey, it's just not true. and also, another pretty damning instance in the mueller report about the white house press shop is when they wanted rod rosenstein to hold a press conference saying it was his idea to fire james comey. they were essentially trying to send the number two at the justice department to go on television and say something that was not true, so it would back up the president and make him look better. if that gives you any kind of instance of how the white house press shop is functioning here, and instead of trying to put good news out about what the president is doing, they're instead trying to make the president's decisions look less bad. >> you know, julie, there's only been i think two white house press briefings in the past 100 days or in this current year. and i guess the silver lining is if you can't believe what the press secretary is saying, maybe
it's better than they don't do those press conferences. >> i'm really torn on this because on the one hand, you go into the press briefings and you get information that frankly isn't very useful to you. in some cases it's inaccurate. some other cases it's not really relevant. on the other hand, i think it's really crucial, again, to the point about informing the public, not because we want to sit in the briefing room, not because we think we want to have our face time on camera, because that is how a lot of americans get information about what their government is doing. and the fact that is gone, the fact that is just no longer an expectation, not only at the white house but also at the pentagon, at the state department. there are major policies that are being undertaken by this administration and wi simply don't have the opportunity to get the public information on a daily basis. that's a real problem. >> certainly is. go ahead. >> i want to note one thing that we could start to see over the next few days. you saw it with the interview sarah sanders did where she was trying to back off the claims she made to the special counsel's investigators.
they made it pretty clear in the mueller report what she said was not founded on anything. that's what she told them. and today, she was trying to frame it as simply a slip of the tongue, something she made in the heat of the moment, despite that being a comment she's made multiple times. so what you're going to see is potentially people trying to back off the comments they made under the penalty potentially of lying to investigators when they told the truth, then in the public when they're speaking to reporters and anchors on news shows, they may be changing their tune. >> if you lie to mueller's team, that's perjury. you could wind up in jail, so she had to tell the truth, the whole truth, anding the but the truth in that particular instance. thanks very much. up next, i'll be speaking with a republican member of congress who once told me that barr should release the full report to the public. does he still feel that way? stay with us. for moments that matter tracfone keeps you connected, for less. ♪ our talk text and data plans start at fifteen dollars a month,
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jesus, what happened? ...and more. it's just the tip of the iceberg. upgrade now to get more into what you're into. thanks! just say "watchathon" into your x1 voice remote to upgrade and keep getting more of what you love. fighting to expose the full mueller report. the top house democrat in the judiciary committee, jerry nadler, issuing a subpoena last hour. this as democrats dismiss attorney general william barr's findings and demand to hear from the man who authored the report, robert mueller. joining us with reaction, republican congressman chris stewart of utah. he serves on the intelligence committee. thanks so much for joining us. we have had this conversation
before. you previously told me several times you think every word of the mueller report should be made public, should be presented to congress. do you support the subpoena that jerry nadler is now issued for the full unredacted report and all the underlying evidence? >> yeah, i do think that with the exception of the grand jury information, which frankly is illegal to release, i do think members of congress should be able to see all of the other. sitting on the house intel committee, they want to protect sources and methods, but we deal with sources and methods all the time. part is protecting our interactions with foreign governments, but again, we deal with foreign governments all the time. i think there are members who should be all of this, with the exception of, again, the grand jury information, which is illegal to release that, and probably appropriate to protect the grand jury process that that be hild private. >> it would be legal if a court intervened and said you could release it. in the mueller report, the
special counsel details several episodes of possible, possible obstruction of justice by the president, including an attempt to fire the special counsel. how concerning is that to you? >> well, you know, honestly, i'm a little surprised there aren't more things in this that's embarrassing to the administration, after two and a half years and $30 million and 49 fbi agents and attorneys, again, i thought there would be more. i don't think there's a single american who could undergo this kind of scrutiny and not find something over the last, you know, years of their life that would not be embarrassing. but there's a difference between some things that are embarrassing and concerning and some things that are illegal. frustration is not obstruction. being an emotional reaction or anger is not obstruction. and mr. mueller, i think, was pretty clear. he didn't reach a legal threshold to pursue an obstruction charge. and mr. barr has conceded that. by the way, i think for those who are pursuing this, i think the american people are
exhausted by it. i think they're so tired of it, and i think they're handing the president the greatest gift they could give him in the 2020 election. i think most americans realize this is unfair to keep going and going and going. and to not ever be able to just say -- >> let me get your reaction, congressman, to this one sentence in the mueller report. the president's efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that's largely because the persons who surrounded the president declined to carry out orders s accede to his requests. that's pretty stark, that statement right there. >> well, it is. but again, as has been explained, the president was reacting emotionally to what he felt was an unfair investigation from the very beginning. and he knew, as we know now, and as the house republican intel committee concluded more than a year ago, we know that there was no collusion. we know that there was no conspiracy. so i don't think it would be
terribly surprising to find that sometimes during the course of these events, the president would be emotionally defensive of that and he would say, i want the truth to be known. and if some of these individuals are pursuing things he thinks is unfair at its core, he would push back against that. but once again, wolf, we know that it's really clear, the was no conspconspiracy, no conclusi. mr. barr looked at this and the special counsel looked at this and said there's no special threshold to pursue legal charges. if people don't acceptable that, they're saying mr. mueller was incompetent or corrupt, and that's a ridiculous thing to conclude. i think we trusted him for the last two years, unless people don't like the conclusion he came to and then they say he should have pursued this and didn't. >> he had a very, very specific conclusion on russian interference in the u.s. presidential election in 2016. i'll read the sentence and it's right at the beginning of this document. the russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.
close quote. but last night, the president's personal lawyer, rudy giuliani, once again said the president simply has a different view on russian interference. why do you think the president still doubts that russia was behind an effort to interfere in the u.s. presidential election? >> i have no idea what mr. giuliani is talking about. i think the president has said and i had conversations with him. he clearly understands that the russians attempted to interfere in this election. >> he didn't say that at helsinki at the summit with putin. he said, i listened to what putin said. he makes a strong case. i don't see why they would interfere. i'm paraphrasing, but that's basically what the president said. >> he clarified his comments shortly after that. i was one of the first members of congress who said the president is wrong. he needs to clarify, and he did. but i know this, there was attempted interference, no question about that.
again, i think the friends recognizes that. i don't know why mr. giuliani said what he did. the question is, did the administration or members of the campaign -- were they part of that? obviously, the conclusion is no, and i think it's interesting to note as well, wolf, that's despite multiple attempts by the russians and russian agents to get their coordination, and again, they rebuffed those attempts. >> congressman chris stewart of utah, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. outside of his report, we have not yet heard directly from special counsel robert mueller. lawmakers certainly want to hear from him. could his testimony change how we view his report? stay with us. hold my pouch.
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we have yet to hear directly from robert mueller, but that is expected to change. >> in a lettuce to the justice department, the house democrats requested mueller to testify as soon as possible. they set a deadline of may 23rd. joining us now, garrett graf, a cnn contributor, the author of the book, the threat matrix, inside robert mueller's fbi and the war on global terror. thanks for joining us. once we do hear directly in testimony from robert mueller, you think what we heard from the attorney general, which was a very glowing assessments of his report, that public attitudes would change? >> yeah, you know, i have been saying for the last month that the summary that barr presented of mueller's work was
inconsistent with sort of everything that we know about robert mueller and his career, sort of this idea that he would just absolutely punt on the biggest decision that he has ever been asked to participate in. just didn't square with what we know of him as a pretty decisive and traditional conservative legal thinker. and i have to say, after reading the report yesterday, that's the bob mueller that we expected to see. it's someone who actually had a very clear reasoning for the framework that he presented. that he was starting this with the assumption that working under the framework established by the department of justice since the 1970s, you cannot indict the sitting president. and so he was never planning to make a so-called sort of traditional prosecutorial decision on the question of obstruction. and always appears to have seen himself as basically an independent fact finder to use the criminal justice system to
turn over evidence to congress to consider for presidential malfeasance. >> mueller remains an employee of the justice department as special counsel. we heard bill barr yesterday said he had no objections to mueller testifying. do you expect mueller will honor the request to the house judiciary committee and other democrats and answer questions and testify publicly? >> i absolutely think he will. certainly, if served with a subpoena of any kind, mueller will obey the legal proceedings. i don't know that we should expect that we're going to learn a tremendous amount of new information from him. i mean, let's look back over the last two years. this is someone who has not spoken publicly in his role as special counsel since the day that he was appointed. and the two times that the special counsel has had something to say, rod rosenstein as the acting attorney general in the matter has come out and been the voice at the press conference. so yesterday, again, we didn't see mueller up there with bill
barr, with rod rosenstein, and with the principal associate attorney general behind him. >> we're told he is at work today over at the justice department. mueller. which raises the question, why wasn't he there at that news conference yesterday with rod rosenstein, who named him to be the special counsel, the deputy attorney general, and the attorney general, bill barr? >> yeah, and barr sort of gave a weird answer to this, which is like this was my role to do this today. without addressing i think the underlying question of was mueller invited, was mueller consulted as to whether he wanted to be there. but i would guess from what we know of mueller that mueller would have preferred to have been anywhere but there yesterday. i mean, he's very clearly preferred to let his work speak for himself, and itself, through this entire process. i would imagine that that's what we'll see. >> they do have a 30-year relationship, barr and mueller. they're close friends. their wives are friends as well. >> yes, but the friendship, to my understanding, exists more on
the wives' side than on barr and mueller's side. personally. >> i want to ask about a tweet that you wrote this morning. it seems clear that trump's skillfully maneuvered his way through two sticky issues correctly. avoiding testifying and installing an attorney general who would obfuscate the report's findings. what are you trying to say there? you're not judging the morality, you're saying that was skillfully done. >> it seems like, you know, there were two very good political decisions that the president and his lawyers made through this, to navigate through what we now understand from mueller's report were pretty sticky legal questions. one, cooperating enough that mueller never wanted to press the issue of subpoenaing the president himself. so that we don't actually have the president nailed down personally in this. and then second, you know, barr, you know, we have seen in the past president trump complain about his attorney general not
acting as his personal lawyer. you know, he's said where is my roy kohn, sort of his former legal mentor. and this is something where we are seeing bill barr really acting yesterday as the president's personal defense attorney, not the chief law enforcement officer of the united states. >> garrett, thank you so much. russia says they did not interfere in the 2016 election, no matter what the mueller report says. next, what does that mean for what's ahead in 2020? uely craft. with peak season berries, creamy avocado. and a dressing fit for a goddess. come taste what a salad should be. and with panera catering, there's more to go around. panera. food as it should be.
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sweeping and systematic fashion. unquote. but president trump says 2016 interference was president obama's problem. joining me now, senator ben cardin, member of the senate foreign relations committee. thanks so much for joining us. doesn't president trump have a point, didn't the obama administration to a degree drop the ball when it came to this horrific russian election interference that happened in tw 2016? >> let's remember the president had numerous opportunities to talk to mr. putin during these la two years and he minimized what russia did in our 2016 elections and continues to do against democratic institutions. so no, president trump had a responsibility. he's probably the last person to acknowledge what russia did in our elections in 2016. the mueller report confirms what a lot of us already knew, but it gives a shocking detail, and now it's important with congress, i hope working with the trump administration, to take further actions, to protect us. because russia will try again in
2020. make no mistake about it. they're very much interested in bringing down our free election system. >> well, what more needs to be done? what isn't being done that needs to be done? >> so so far, as you know, congress passed a bill i helped draft two years ago that provides additional resources to deal with misinformation from foreign sources, but we need to take action against social media platforms so that we know who is trying to use our system against ourselves. we need to have more transparency. we need -- americans need to understand that a lot of people that are contacting them are not americans. so we do need to protect against the use of our facilities and institutions against ourselves by foreign entities. >> the mueller report makes it pretty clear that they did not find sufficient evidence to charge anyone on the trump team with conspiring with anyone affiliated with the kremlin for
election interference. isn't that fundamentally good news, and something of a vindication for president trump? >> it is certainly good news that we're not going to have to go through a criminal trial that someone from this nation colluded with the russians in order to influence our elections. but the mueller report spells out in detail a lot of individuals and their contacts with russia. some of these individuals, of course, are being held in other proceedings. so there's clearly contact that was made between russia and americans that is disturbing in the 2016 elections. but yes, it's good news that we don't have a collusion indictment coming out and no american has been charged. >> one thing that's really interesting from the report is president trump delivered a press conference in 2016, said something about russia, if you're listening, help find the 30,000 missing emails that hillary clinton deleted. he says he did so in jest. but the mueller report says that
i think roughly five hours later, russian hackers were trying to break into hillary clinton's emails to find those missing emails. they did not get them. but that certainly says something about how closely the russians are watching our elections and how even if you take president trump at his word and he was just joking around, how they take those instructions at face value. >> no question that there was contact made between the trump campaign and russians that are troublesome. there's no question about that. does it rise to the element of enough evidence for a criminal indictment? no. but there's clearly unhealthy contact that was encouraged by members of the trump team in regards to what russia was doing. so that is a matter, i think, of public interest, and something that cannot be permitted in the future. >> your party is going to have to decide what to do with this
mueller report. there are grassroots democrats who are running straight towards impeachment. there are other voices such as your fellow democratic marylander steny hoyer, the house majority leader, who says the american people will get to make their decision on president trump in november 2020. where do you come down? do you think impeachment could be damaging to your party as it was to republicans during the clinton years? >> jake, this is our highest responsibility. it shouldn't be what the democrats want to do. it should be what congress wants to do. the house of representatives has specific responsibility to investigate the conduct of the president. it's very clear from the mueller report that in regards to obstruction of justice, there are many episodes in which the president tried to influence the mueller investigation. in some cases, he was saved from action by his own staff that refused to carry out his orders, but this is the beginning of a congressional review as to the
conduct of the president. it's our responsibility as an institution, not as a party but as an institution, to get as much information as possible to determine whether further action is needed. we have a constitutional responsibility here and we must carry that out. >> senator ben cardin, thank you so much. happy passover. >> thank you. i could use the extra money, thanks. >> thanks for joining us today for our special coverage on the mueller report. i'm jake tapper. >> i'm wolf blitzer. "at this hour" with kate bolduan picks up our special coverage. and believe in passionately. it's the idea that if our mothers were diagnosed with cancer, how would we want them to be treated? that's exactly how we care for you. with answers and actions. to hear your concerns, quiet your fears, lift your spirits. with teams of cancer experts and specialists,
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hello, everyone. thanks so much for joining me. i'm kate bolduan joining you from washington today. it's been 24 hours since the release of the redacted mueller report. it's taken just about 24 hours to fully digest the details inside. after reading all 448 pages, here is what we know. we know the special counsel did not find evidence that the trump campaign coordinated with the russian government in its election interference activities. on the question of obstruction of justice, we also know while the special counsel understood a sitting president could not be indicted, robert mueller could have cleared the president of any wrongdoing, and he did not do that. that decision clearly now left to congress. after reading the report, here is the take from the top democrat on the house judiciary committee. >> based on the reading, 180 pages of evidence or so, do you believe the president committed obstruction of justice? >> i believe he committed obst